From a priest…
I was not at peace with the Sunday-obligation-Saturday-evening question and answer. HERE
Imagine a penitent:
Bless me Father, for I have sinned.
Three weeks ago I was leaving on a anonruise, which was for fun, but I had to get to the airport early, for a flight to the ship, and there was no? way to get to mass. So I missed Sunday mass.
Yes, my son.
Well I live beside the church, and they have a Saturday evening mass at five and another at seven. Although all packing was done, I didn’t feel like going, so I didn’t.
Don’t worry about it, it’s not a sin [Ummm….]
* * *
I have admittedly painted an extreme situation. But here is a grave obligation of the Natural Law (public, corporate worship of the Divine Majesty), of the Divine positive Law transmitted through the Apostles, and regulated, but not created by Canon Law.
In the, scenario I present how can there be no sin?
Admittedly I have broadened the question from a merely canonical question.
The obligation to worship God is a natural law obligation, binding upon everyone. The obligation to worship God on the Sabbath is divine positive law. The obligation to worship God by hearing Holy Mass on Sunday is ecclesiastical law, binding all Catholics.
As a matter of ecclesiastical law, the Church has the authority to define the parameters by which the faithful are bound. Holy Church, in Her mercy, grants the faithful the ability to fulfill the mandate to attend Mass on Sunday by attending Mass on Saturday evening. The Church has not seen fit to oblige Saturday evening Mass upon those faithful who cannot attend on Sunday. She could, very easily, write a law requiring all Catholics to attend Holy Mass at some point from 4:00 p.m. on Saturday until midnight on Sunday, but She hasn’t. She has, rather, enshrined in Her law the obligation to attend Mass on Sunday (midnight to midnight), whilst granting an accommodation to those who wish to fulfill that obligation on Saturday.
But again, as was stated in the post in question, woe to me, I am a worthless servant. I have only done what is expected of me.
If someone is lazing about on Saturday, perfectly able to get to Mass but choosing not to do so, all the while aware that attending Mass the following day is going to be an impossibility, then that person might not be committing a canonical crime, and might not be committing the mortal sin of failing to meet the Sunday obligation, but that person ought to wonder if she is morally astute and right with God.
The larger obligations, to worship God, and to worship God on the Sabbath, remain binding.